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My HAM Radio Install

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by SilverTacoZack, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. Mar 17, 2011 at 1:33 PM
    #1
    SilverTacoZack

    SilverTacoZack [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Zack
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    Hey guys, just getting started into the world of HAM radio. My dad has been a HAM for over 20 years and finally convinced me to get my license. Luckily for me, he had a spare Kenwood TM-D700A dual band radio that he gave me to install in my Tacoma. I purchased an antenna and some coax and threw it all in today. Here's a list of my install equipment:

    -Kenwood TM-D700a Radio unit
    -Diamond SG7500a Super Gainer Dual Band Antenna
    -Diamond Cable Assembley/UHF mount

    The radio itself was installed underneath the driver seat, right in front of the air vents (so it does not block them). The display/control unit was mounted up in the sunglass holder. I know a lot of people install these things down in the lower bin thing in front of the shifter but I didn't like that location because of fear of drinks/things in the cupholder spilling on it, and also I have my ipod tunedock plugged in down there and it would have partially obscured it. Also, its more stealth because I can close the sunglass holder and its totally hidden. The handset is mounted to the blank plastic on the driver side of the radio cluster. The antenna is mounted to my Kobalt toolbox (I drilled a hole through the lid of the box), and the cable drops down through pre-existing hole in the toolbox for mounting, then behind the bed and under the truck, where it routes up to the radio under the driver seat through the existing factory grommet. I think it all came out pretty clean. SWR meter shows a 1.0 SWR on both 146 and 440 mhz, so it seems to be successful.

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    jmich2001 likes this.
  2. Mar 17, 2011 at 1:38 PM
    #2
    bjmoose

    bjmoose Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    Looks good.

    Did you have to drop the headliner to mount the remote face wire?

    Isn't opening the lid on the toolbox kind of a pain, now?
     
  3. Mar 17, 2011 at 1:43 PM
    #3
    SilverTacoZack

    SilverTacoZack [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Nope, actually I didn't have to drop the headlinder. What I did was remote the center console (very easy, one screw + 2 clips), and then I was able to push the cable out to the front of the headliner near the mirror, then I just pulled it over the a piller and tucked it back under the liner, then everything else just went down the piller into the driver side kick panel, then under the carpet over to the radio location.

    And actually, where its located right now, the toolbox can be opened all the way and the antenna clears the cab by like .5 inches. Thats why I put it as far to the side of the box as possible. Even if it had been a problem (which it is isn't), the Diamond sg has a tip over antenna design where you can pull the antenna up a bit and then tip it over, so I can secure if necessary to go through areas with poor overhead clearance and such.
     
  4. Mar 17, 2011 at 1:46 PM
    #4
    anethema

    anethema Well-Known Member

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    Nice job. I've got switches up in that thing, so I'm trying to decide myself where to mount the head unit of my Yaesu 350AR.

    Some did it down in the lower cubby but I have a 6-speed so doesn't seem very accesable there. I also have a sattelite radio and Nuvi 350 to mount on the dash somewhere. HMMM.
     
  5. Mar 17, 2011 at 1:52 PM
    #5
    PreRunnerSeth

    PreRunnerSeth Well-Known Member

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    Looks like the main part of the radio is just kind of wedged in there. Those things need room to breathe. They put out a lot more power than a CB.
     
  6. Mar 17, 2011 at 2:05 PM
    #6
    SNJTacoma11

    SNJTacoma11 Well-Known Member

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    SILVERTACOZACK.....giving me ideas on where to mount my icom IC-7000 just have to figure out my High sierra antenna.....Great job on the install. Nice to see a fellow ham...
     
  7. Mar 17, 2011 at 2:11 PM
    #7
    JKD

    JKD Well-Known Member

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    Nice...tagged for reference.
     
  8. Mar 17, 2011 at 2:24 PM
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    JKD

    JKD Well-Known Member

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    I'm assuming he actually has it mounted (with a bracket) under the seat. If it's just sitting there, then yeah...problem. Especially in an accident!
     
  9. Mar 17, 2011 at 3:18 PM
    #9
    SilverTacoZack

    SilverTacoZack [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Its bracketed in with metal strapping. And the cooling fan/radiator are pointed to the side where they have about 3 to 4 inchs of room, so I believe It'll be ok, unless your trasmitting for like, an hour nonstop lol.
     
  10. Mar 17, 2011 at 3:20 PM
    #10
    SilverTacoZack

    SilverTacoZack [OP] Well-Known Member

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    You've got switches in the sunglass holder? Hmm, well, how about the garage door opener bay, or whatver you call it, that is behind where the sunglass holder is? True, the door won't be able to be shut on it, but if you take off the door to it you could probably rig up a mount to hang it down from that opening.
     
  11. Mar 17, 2011 at 3:47 PM
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    JKD

    JKD Well-Known Member

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    Exactly what I'm going to do when I have time.
     
  12. Mar 17, 2011 at 5:05 PM
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    anethema

    anethema Well-Known Member

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    Ya, switches in the sunglasses holder. My "garage door opener" is a Compass/Temperature unit from the factory.

     
  13. Mar 17, 2011 at 5:13 PM
    #13
    twinomad

    twinomad Active Member

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    great job,
    I was thinking of putting my 817ft in my back seat right above the jack box when are you on I'll cq, did you cut antenna to match or buy OTC. I'm at just 5 watt
     
  14. Mar 17, 2011 at 5:38 PM
    #14
    SilverTacoZack

    SilverTacoZack [OP] Well-Known Member

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    It was an OTC Diamond SG7500, right from the box. Its pre-tuned and I got really good SWR right out of the box (1:1). I'm actually going to take my Ham technician exam in a few weeks, so I can't transmit just yet, so I'll have to get back to you about that. But I am able to pickup the repeater in Lumberton, which is 52 miles away, with this antenna.
     
  15. Mar 17, 2011 at 11:09 PM
    #15
    anethema

    anethema Well-Known Member

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    Ya I kind of went over the truck today..

    I have to mount... a Garmin Nuvi 350 (used for APRS tracking...shows all buddies position on topo maps), A FTM-350AR radio head, and a Satellite radio, and a scangauge II.

    After looking it over, I think the Radio head is going in the cubby by the shifter, the gps on the Upper dash face right above the CD slot, the sat radio in the center console (don't move it much from stern hah) and the scangauge up above the mirror using the tape measure clip thing.

    Should look pretty clean when done (only thing right on the dash being the GPS) but I'll report back in my own thread. Thanks for the ideas though!
     
  16. Mar 18, 2011 at 4:15 AM
    #16
    DocTaco

    DocTaco Member

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    These are some good ideas for rig mounting. I have been researching the mounting since buying new Taco. I had not thought of the sunglasses holder area. I run a Ft857D HF-UHF radio. It has the remote head also. I think my tuning knob might be too big for SG holder. So far I have made a mount that slips back into the small pocket below my JVC head unit. This puts radio at shoulder level and using the quick disconnect mount it is easy to remove when parked. I put my main unit in my console, ran power and interconnects thru a small hole in bottom corner. NOW antenna mounting is a different story.... I work mainly 40 mtrs but do move according to conditions. I also have a Trifecta folding cover over my bed. For normal day to day I use Hamsticks on a home built mount that slips under the cover and then 90's down so I can use the mounting track inside the bed to secure. Plain and simple, just 3/16" x 2" aluminum around 9" long with a 90 degree bend. My coax connects to a SO239 type mount. My eventual plan is to figure out how to mount my Tarheel 80-10 screwdriver. Hitch mount would work but lots of loss due to loading coil below truck surface and paralell to tailgate.

    Note: 1st licensed at age 13 in 1966
    Whiskey November 4 Echo
     
  17. Mar 18, 2011 at 5:33 AM
    #17
    Fire931

    Fire931 Well-Known Member Vendor

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    Looks good. Why not just roof mount the antenna?? (I know I know, didn't want to drill the roof) :D

    Mine.......

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Mar 18, 2011 at 5:53 AM
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    SilverTacoZack

    SilverTacoZack [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Im actually going to be wiring up a GPS as well, an AvMap GPS for APRS reporting. I'm actaully just going to mount this unit to the inside of my center console lid, so I can flip open the lid and there it will be pointed right at the driver. I never would actually need it for navigation purposes, just APRS, so this method is going to work out great to hide the GPS, as those things get stolen a lot around here and I don't want my window busted out.
     
  19. Mar 18, 2011 at 5:54 AM
    #19
    SilverTacoZack

    SilverTacoZack [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Mostly the reason why, was for one, the Diamond antenna is pretty tall and putting it on the roof would have made the antenna hit all sorts of overhead things. But, the main reason, was that since I already had a drop in toolbox, it was just better to "roof mount" the antenna to the "roof" of the toolbox, rather than my actual truck.
     
  20. Mar 18, 2011 at 5:58 AM
    #20
    Tepidy

    Tepidy Well-Known Member

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    Excellent job on the install. Great SWR reading. Your transmisions and reception should be really good.
     
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